Hayes, Peter Lind

Hayes, Peter Lind (b. Joseph Conrad Lind)

(1915–  ) radio/television comedian, actor; born in San Francisco. Abandoned by his father, he occasionally joined his mother (whose maiden name he adopted) in vaudeville skits at the age of nine and appeared with her at New York's Palace Theater in 1932. From 1932–42 he performed his comedy routines at his mother's nightclub in the San Fernando Valley, Calif., and he made several movies. In the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II (1942–45), he performed in hundreds of service shows. He made his nightclub debut in New York City in 1946 and was instantly acclaimed for his character impersonations. He then toured with his new wife, actress Mary Healey, in a singing-comedy act. In 1951 he had his own television show, The Star of the Family, and he and his wife then became the permanent guest-hosts on the Arthur Godfrey Show (1953–58), a contractual arrangement that limited them to doing only radio shows, but where he could at least employ his own brand of wry, satiric humor. He then went on to produce and host the Peter Lind Hayes Show for ABC-TV, (1958–66), thereafter making only occasional appearances, as in When Television Was Live (1975). He had written songs when he was younger and he published his poetry, Peter's Poems and Hayseed in 1982.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.